Life
    Money

    The smart investor’s guide

    8 November 2014
    Whats-up

    EMPLOYMENT

    The number of full-time workers aged over 16 between June and August was 22.4 million, up 500,000 on a year earlier. Unemployment fell from 2.51 million (7.7%) to 1.97 million (6.0%).

    Car-Illo

    NEW CARS

    425,861 new cars were registered in September, 5.6% up on 2013 — and the best September result since 2004.

    COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

    Project ‘starts’ (for developments between £250,000 and £100m) rose 10% by value in Q3 2014 compared with Q3 2013. Retail projects were up 54%.

    RETAIL SALES

    Goods sold in August 2014 rose 3.9% compared with August 2013, including household goods sales +12.7% and furniture sales +23.4%.

    NEW COMPANIES

    The number of registered companies rose from 3.13 million in August 2013 to 3.34 million in August 2014.

    Whats-down

    REAL EARNINGS

    Average weekly pay for all employees was £479 in August, up 0.8% on a year earlier but well below the Consumer Prices Index of inflation, which was 1.5%.

    EXPORTS

    Exports to other EU countries were £10.7 billion, 8.3% down on August 2013. Exports to non-EU countries were £10.9 billion, 29.7% down. These are the lowest figures since mid-2010.

    HOUSEBUILDING

    The housebuilding recovery, boosted by the Help to Buy scheme, has stalled. In Q3 2014 the value of housing starts was 6% lower than in Q3 2013.

    CONFIDENCE

    The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator for the UK dipped in September from 116.3 to 115.4. The ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor was +32.3 in Q3, compared with +37.3 in Q2.